Melbourne, Dec 4 (ANI): A teacher in Australia has been deregistered and banned from reapplying for four years after he was found to have interacted inappropriately with a 12-year-old in a virtual world.
Gregory Stark, 44, was also found by the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal to have hugged and kissed the student inappropriately and also sent her inappropriate text messages.
"I love you so much it hurts," the Courier Mail quoted one of the text messages as reading.
He also gave her presents including mobile phone credit, CDs and poems.
The student has now given evidence that Stark's avatar "engaged in sexualised behaviour with her avatar".
"When questioned about this, Mr Stark was evasive; he consistently claimed he 'did not know' whether his avatar was capable of such behaviour," the written decision stated.
The tribunal also found he had encouraged the student to use a webcam when she was interacting online with him.
"The tribunal considers that the behaviour of Mr Stark is very serious. He has admitted that he wanted his relationship with the student to continue after she left school," QCAT wrote.
"He accessed school records to obtain her home telephone number and address and visited the student at home during the holidays.
"He discouraged the student from telling others of his conduct because he knew it was inappropriate," it stated.
The Queensland College of Teachers, which began an investigation into Stark after it was informed by the Department of Education there was an investigation into his behaviour last October, told QCAT the teacher's conduct represented "a campaign of grooming".
The tribunal ordered Stark's teaching registration to be cancelled and for him to be banned from reapplying for four years.
He was also ordered to obtain treatment from a registered psychologist within 12 months of reapplying for registration. (ANI)